Chelsea and UK plc

What’s good for Chelsea is good for the UK economy? Not true.

Andre Villas Boas said just two weeks ago that he didn’t need the players to support what he was trying to do with the club – just the owner. “They don’t have to back my project, only the owner needs to back my project.” What he said could have been echoed by many UK business leaders – it is the shareholders who matter, not the workforce.

This model of ownership doesn’t work on the field – great sides have great belief – and it is not great off it. Managers and business CEOs may be paid vast sums now, but the restless impatience of owners means they themselves have no time to perform. The average tenure of a CEO is getting shorter all the time – at around four years (estimates vary), staff at most companies stay longer than their boss. It is a mad way to run a business or an economy.

What we need are models of ownership that are aligned with the passions of the people involved, whether it is sport or in business. If it is results that matter, current owners can do better by developing ways to share ownership over time.

Andre Villas Boas will have another go somewhere else. Better luck next time.

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One thought on “Chelsea and UK plc

  1. Ed, you must watch the Four Year Plan, shown on BBC2 last Sunday and available on BBC iplayer – a fly on the wall documentary about the Briatore years at QPR. Full of fabulous insights into leadership, corporate governance and the dangers of rampant ego/self-confidence. Makes Chelsea look calm and highly collaborative.

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